I struggle to socialise because of my chronic illness?

Hello, It’s me, blogging again. Today I am blogging about socialising and how I struggle with it and making friends mostly due to my chronic illness and in part related to my mental illnesses.

So I have been chronically ill since I was 11. Which in short made me feel ill a lot of the time and made my friends back then get fed up because of me feeling ill all the time. I’m not going to go into all the details in this post as you can read about that in one of my previous blog posts.

This has lead to me A) Not knowing how to socialise and B) Struggling to make friends.

Lets address A first. The not knowing how to socialise. Being chronically ill for 8 years has meant I don’t know what to talk about in social situations. I genuinly have no idea how to start a conversation. I can normally manage to contribute when a conversation has been started to some extent but I do really struggle with not knowing what to say because I essentially missed out a lot with regards to social experiences from having friends who got sick of me being sick. And also because when something consumes your life for so long sometimes it is all you can think to talk about. I did notice that when I was recovering from anorexia the first time.

And then theres B the struggling to make friends as again it can be hard to figure out what to say to new people and also because it can be hard for people to get to know you when you’ve been chronically ill for 8 years. Purley because there is not much to know about you. Everyone else seems to have been on amazing adventures up until this point in life and I havn’t. I’ve binged watched criminal minds, grey’s anatomy, scandal, higher ground, brothers and sisters, alley mcbeal and various other shows. I’ve studied. But for the most part that really is it. Because I was too ill to want to do anything else a lot of the time. Hobbies I found enjoyable before stopped being enjoyable because they hurt me.

And then theres the issue that combines both of these. The way in which the chronic illness impacts on you day to day. Yesterday my friend thought I was getting bored of her or something and in reality I was in some moderate pain and I just didn’t want to stand up. But I couldn’t explain that to her. How would that work: “No I’m not bored of you but I’m starting to get period like cramps when I’m not on my period because my body a mess.” And then theres the fact that sometimes you just don’t want to hang out or you do want to go home early because of the pain. Or the fact that you can’t commit incase your having a bad day. It just causes so many problems. ┬áThe reality is I don’t feel comfortable telling them I am chronically ill right now for a number of reasons. One being because my symptoms arn’t that bad, not as bad as they were in terms of pain severity and not as bad as so many others experience. The second being the fact that I’m not officially diagnosed with anything and I think they’d thing I’m making it up for attention or being stupid because I have yet to see someone about my symptoms. I guess that’s one of the many ways in which my anxiety interefers with me. The third and final reason is because I’m scared I’ll lose them or they won’t want to live with me next year because of it… and I’d be back to square one of being a hermit again.

So yes that is that. I guess it is just something I will have to learn to navigate.

“You Look Well”

Hello again readers of my blog. Today I’m writing about the “You look well” or “You look healthy” or any other variation of the two comment that people quite often make.

The comment that many people with eating disorders find triggering, they find to be one their head twists to mean “Your fat” “You’ve gained weight.” or “Your getting a litttle chubby.”

But that is by no means true and not what is meant when loved ones comment these things. The “You look well” comment is meant as a compliment not as anything else your eating disorder may convince you so I urge everyone to see it as a compliment.

I myself got variations of the “You look well” comment on two occasions yesterday and I could have let it really trigger me, especially seeing as that morning I had stepped on the scales to see a ridiculous weight gain in the space of a week. But there’s no need to let it trigger you or set it back in any way. Fight against that voice in your head and think about it rationally and logically.

Looking well is a good thing. It’s a compliment.

Lets put this into context with my case from yesterday. I got the comment from my dad and my aunt. The last time my dad saw me was nearly 2 months ago now. I was borderline underweight in terms of BMI, so underweight in terms of where my body likes to sit. I was majorly stressed about possibly having ovarian cancer, had no appetite and wasn’t feeling all that great. The last time I saw my aunt was nearly 3 months ago now, I was feeling ill with probably endo pain and again slightly stressing over possibly having ovarian cancer and under my body’s natural set point range.

It is a damn good thing that they think I look well! It shows I am healthy, well to some extent healthier than I was back then. And asides from the physical aspect of it, because there is a very minimal physical change in my health in terms of symptoms. We should want to look healthy. And healthy doesn’t necessarily mean skinny. For most of us healthy does mean having a bit of extra body fat and not being at the minimum possible healthy weight for our height.

I feel as though especially as a vegan. I would rather look healthy than not, just to help in some small way to promote the lifestyle rather than turn people away from it.

So fight those eating disorder voices. Because looking well or looking healthy are all good things and in no way means you need to start restricting again!

Binging again?

Guess who’s back, back again.

Me of course. I always come back in the end.

Anyway today I want to write about binging, and more specifically the fact that I am binging again and what it is like to relapse into behaviours after recovery.

So over the summer I had a chronic illness flare up and lost weight. To below my set point and so of course my body is reacting. Leading to be now reactive eating/binging. Whatever you want to call it it is not pleasent and it does mess with my mood and make me even more bloated than usual. Which yes is possible. I’ve tried not having junk food around and turns out I then move towards binging on healthy food which makes me feel horrendously sicky the next day. Not ideal. And of course it’s cheaper to binge on bourbons than it is on Dates, Nakd bars and PB.

Binging was never a main eating disorder behaviour of mine. I did binge. When I was gaining weight in recovery an when I was really overexercisisng. But it’s never something I’ve turned to for emotional reasons or boredam. Or atleast I don’t think so. And that aspect of it I think is even worse and makes this whole fiasco more confusing. I’m engaging in an unhealthy behaviour, I have no control over myself with regards to food in the evenings and I have no idea why. There’s no reason for me to do it so why do I do it?

That’s the question that plays in my head every night after I’ve binged. Why? My life is better than it’s ever been. I have friends, I have drama, I have inapendence. The only hang ups I have with life right now are the fact that I’m doing a degree I don’t love and the need for a job or volenteering or something but being so anxious that these things are prevented in a variety of ways.

I have no reason to binge so why? And why can’t I stop myself or control myself? Sometimes it’s like there’s a devil on y shoulder egging me on. Telling me to carry on. Most of the time there’s nothing, no conflic between the rational me and that devil on my shoulder. I just do it because I’m fixated on food and I can’t control myself. I can’t help myself. I need to do something, but I don’t know what. I need to stop it because it’s a problem. It doesn’t make me feel good. Mentally or physically in so many ways.

The question is what? I am in a situation I have never really had to deal with to a large extent before and I’m stuck and desperate to change this.